The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Tanko Muhammad has warned court officials against leaking judgments and other confidential information.
The CJN who noted that some officials leak confidential information in exchange for cash and other forms of rewards warned that anyone caught in such acts will face the consequences.
He told officials that their work involves the highest level of confidentiality and trust, urging them not to fall below expectations.
Muhammad gave the admonition on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of a virtual national workshop for Secretaries, Protocol Officers and other administrative staff of the judiciary.
According to him, “The theme for this year’s Workshop: ‘Promoting Discipline and Commitment Among Court Employees’, is appropriate; as it is premised on the fact that as Court Employees, you are expected to entrench discipline and exhibit high sense of commitment in the discharge of your duties; in addition, it seeks to further enlighten you of the significant role you play in the administration of justice.
“Generally, as Court Employees, you are aware that Integrity and Transparency are essential components required for the administration of justice.
“In this regard, I must not fail to emphasize that your work involves interfacing with litigants seeking redress and judges who adjudicate on the matters; as such you must be circumspect in the discharge of your duties, as much is required of you.”
“Consequently, the need to remain relevant and effective by moving with the tide of positive change cannot be overemphasized; every staff of the Judiciary must ensure that his best is given at all times.
“To this end, you must exhibit decorum, comportment and discipline in the discharge of duties; and display high ethical standards at all time, as it would help you earn public trust and confidence; noting that the judiciary will not tolerate indiscipline among any rank of its staff, as anyone found wanting may be attracting disciplinary action without prejudice.
“In addition, you must ensure proper management of court records, exhibits and avoid temptation of leaking judgements for any consideration that will compromise your duties and bring the Judiciary to disrepute,” the CJN said.
On his part, the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute, Justice Salisu Garba emphasized the key role played by judiciary staff as they are the first point of contact between the courts and the public.
He emphasized that “you are the first point of contact between the public and the Judiciary, thereby playing a pivotal role as the link between legal practitioners and the courts. Your roles in the administration of justice cannot be overemphasized, hence the need for capacity building.
“We know that you are confronted with challenges on a daily basis in the course of your work and these challenges, though diverse, hamper the effective administration of justice.
“However, challenges should not deter you from performing at your Optimal levels and I can assure you with all sincerity that lasting solutions are being harnessed to alleviate your present working conditions and consequently improve the judiciary.”